Bombardier added another name to its list of customers for its new 100-seat CRJ1000 last month, when Slovenia’s Adria Airways signed for one of the big regional jets as part of a firm order that also included a pair of 86-seat CRJ900s. A long-time Bombardier customer, Adria placed its first order for CRJ200s in March 1997. It now operates seven of the 50-seat airplanes and, since this past May, a pair of CRJ900s.
European Regions Airline Association
Adria Airways, the national airline of Slovenia, has overcome the trauma of Yugoslavia’s dissolution and has adapted to the new shape of the market. The company effected radical changes to its fleet, most notably with the addition of four 50-seat Canadair Regional Jets, and appears likely to board 900,000 passengers this year in primarily regional markets.
Short of cash after a financially strenuous year marked by a strong rise in fuel prices, the Austrian regional AirAlps has relinquished its exclusive code- sharing agreement with KLM and found new investors in Northern Italy.
The management of Swiss regional airline Swisswings (formerly Air Engiadina) has announced the successful completion of a refinancing program that provided SFr8 million ($5 million) in fresh capital before the subscription deadline of Aug. 30, 2001. The company previously reduced share capital by 60 percent to liquidate accumulated debt.
Consumer organizations in Melilla, a Spanish enclave on the Mediterranean coast of Morocco, have lobbied for some time to get larger and “more modern” aircraft for flights operated by Binter Mediterraneo between the territory and the Spanish mainland. Several recent accidents of military CN-235s in Turkey have fueled the aversion to the 44-seat turboprops among users dependent on Binter’s link with their homeland.
Events have moved fast since the establishment last November of Regional Compagnie Aérienne Européenne, the new integrated Air France subsidiary that merges the former Regional Airlines, Flandre Air and Proteus Airlines into a single entity.
The economic doldrums have begun to markedly slow the phenomenal growth European regional carriers have enjoyed in recent years.
Aegean Airlines chief operating officer Antonis Simigdalas has to rummage among framed certificates stacked by his desk to find the Greek regional’s independent air-carrier licence (ACL), the first issued in Greece. A man in a hurry, the airline executive has had no time to mount the document on his Athens office wall.
As the tragic events of September 11 unfolded in New York City and Washington, D.C., the potential effect on the regional airline industry’s bottom line paled in significance to the loss of life and the implications to global peace. But as the days wore on and the initial shock of the tragedy subsided, the recognition of the profound changes in store for the entire air transport business became painfully apparent.
BAE Systems Regional Aircraft suggests there might be a large increase in the Persian Gulf-based fleet of British Aerospace 146/Avro RJ regional jets in the next six months. The current four airplanes operating in the area could have grown to as many as 15 by the second quarter of 2008, according to BAE Systems salesman Andy Whelan at an aviation-finance conference here last week.